Jalen Hurd

NFC West Notes: Sherman, Seahawks, Cards

One of Richard Sherman‘s potential paths appears to have closed, with the Raiders having reunited Casey Hayward with DC Gus Bradley. This narrows the All-Pro cornerback’s suitor total. The 49ers may still be in play, despite Sherman indicating in February he would not be back.

There’s always a chance it could end up working back in the Bay, that I head back that way,” Sherman said Wednesday during an appearance on ESPN’s First Take (via NBC Sports Bay Area). “That’s another place I’m really comfortable going. Obviously know the staff, know the team well. Just spent time there and would be ecstatic if something happened there.”

Sherman added that a deal that would bring him back to San Francisco is unlikely to commence until late in the summer or perhaps in-season. The 49ers may, however, still possess a need for a boundary corner. The team re-signed Emmanuel Moseley and injury-prone Jason Verrett and used third- and fifth-round picks on corners. But a proven starter like Sherman could still be necessary. Sherman has also spoken with the Saints and Seahawks. Sherman, 33, still lives in the city and said Wednesday a second Seahawks stint would appeal to him. Pete Carroll, however, said the addition of another veteran cornerback is not on the team’s front-burner at this point, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • Despite Cardinals first-round pick Zaven Collins checking in at 270 pounds this offseason, the team is not planning to use him as a Chandler Jones complementary pass rusher. The second hybrid linebacker to join the Cards as a first-round pick in the past two years, Collins is ticketed for an inside linebacker role alongside 2020 first-rounder Isaiah Simmons. GM Steve Keim fashions Collins as a middle linebacker, via AZCardinals.com’s Darren Urban. Simmons, whom the Cards deployed as more of a hybrid player, did not assimilate immediately as a rookie and ended up playing less than 35% of the team’s defensive snaps last season. But the Cards will use Collins, who did work as more of a chess piece at Tulsa, off the ball to start his career. The Cardinals have invested plenty at the off-ball ‘backer spots in recent years, having stationed Haason Reddick there upon drafting him in the 2017 first round and signing Jordan Hicks last year.
  • Normally high on tall corners for their outside spots, the Seahawks deviated from that philosophy last season by playing 5-foot-9 D.J. Reed on the boundary. They will follow suit with fourth-round pick Tre Brown, who checks in at 5-10. “We would love to have big corners and all that,” GM John Schneider said, via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson. “… But you have to adjust to the times, too, and there is only a certain amount of players that you can pick from.”
  • Although the Seahawks drafted tackle Stone Forsythe in Round 6, Schneider said he attempted to make a trade that would allow the team to select him in the fourth, via Henderson. Forsythe, who played at Florida, was the only O-lineman the Seahawks chose. Of course, the team only ended up making three picks this year.
  • Former 49ers third-round pick Jalen Hurd has not played in a regular-season game, despite being a 2019 draftee. The once-promising wideout has seen back and knee injuries sidetrack his career. While Hurd should not be considered a lock to play for the 49ers, due to his run of injuries, GM John Lynch expects him to be ready to go come camp, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News.

49ers Place WR Jalen Hurd On IR

Jalen Hurd will lose a second straight NFL season to injury. Following the young wide receiver’s ACL tear, the 49ers placed him on IR Thursday.

The 49ers drafted Hurd in the 2019 third round, and the Baylor and Tennessee alum has flashed when healthy. But he will exit 2020 having played in zero of 32 regular-season games to start his career. A stress reaction in his back cost Hurd his 2019 season.

The 6-foot-4, 227-pound prospect displayed considerable versatility in college, converting from running back to wide receiver. He played ahead of Alvin Kamara in Tennessee’s backfield in 2015, rushing for 1,285 yards and 12 touchdowns. Upon transferring to Baylor, Hurd moved to wide receiver. He caught 69 passes for 946 yards as a senior with the Bears.

Kyle Shanahan is holding out hope Deebo Samuel can return by Week 1, per Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com (on Twitter), but the fourth-year 49ers HC did not previously sound optimistic on that front. Samuel sustained a foot fracture in June. The 49ers have signed Tavon Austin, J.J. Nelson and Jaron Brown over the past week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers, WR Jaron Brown Agree To Deal

Another veteran wideout is heading to San Francisco. After signing Tavon Austin and J.J. Nelson, the 49ers agreed to terms with Jaron Brown, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

This will mark Brown’s third NFC West team. The 6-foot-3 target spent the first seven years of his career in Arizona (from 2013-17) and Seattle (2018-19). Brown, 30, worked out for the 49ers on Tuesday.

The 49ers’ receiving corps has encountered multiple setbacks, with a reported Jalen Hurd ACL tear following Deebo Samuel‘s offseason foot fracture. Still, the 49ers boast a crowded group. Brown, Austin and Nelson join the likes of first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk, Trent Taylor, Kendrick Bourne and 2018 second-rounder Dante Pettis. How the 49ers determine roles for their as-of-now Samuel-less operation will be interesting as the season approaches.

Brown saw action as a Seahawks auxiliary weapon in 14 games last season, catching 16 passes for 220 yards. His best season came in 2017 with the Cards, when he hauled in 31 passes for 477 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Work Out Jaron Brown

The 49ers are bringing wide receiver Jaron Brown in for an audition, as NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo tweets. Brown could serve as additional depth in the wake of Jalen Hurd’s suspected ACL tear. 

[RELATED: 49ers To Sign Tavon Austin]

Hurd went down with a non-contact injury while practicing on Sunday. It’s yet another setback for the 2019 third-round pick, who missed his would-be rookie season with a back injury. The Niners, meanwhile, are looking thin at the position. Deebo Samuel will be out for a stretch with a Jones fracture in his foot and Travis Benjamin is out of the equation following his opt out.

The Niners added reinforcements by signing Tavon Austin and J.J. Nelson last week, but they could still use some more bodies. Brown, who has spent seven seasons in the NFC West between the Seahawks and Cardinals, could stay in comfortable territory for an eighth year. In 2019, Brown caught 16 passes for 220 yards and two scores. His best season came in 2017, when he registered 31 catches for 477 yards and four touchdowns with Arizona.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC West Notes: Kendricks, Williams, 49ers

Mychal Kendricks‘ sentencing date keeps getting postponed, and the Seahawks keep reaping the rewards. Per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com, Kendricks is now due to be sentenced for insider trading — which he pleaded guilty to in September 2018 — in February 2020 (Twitter link). The date has been pushed back five times now, and instead of losing Kendricks on November 21 (the most recent date), Seattle will have their starting weakside ‘backer for its playoff run.

Now for more from the NFC West:

  • The Cardinals signed tight end Maxx Williams to a modest one-year, $805K pact this offseason, but they have been impressed enough with his performance — especially as a pass blocker — to sign him to an extension several days ago. And he will get a sizable raise, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says the two-year pact, which keeps Williams in the desert through 2021, is worth $7MM (Twitter link).
  • 49ers CB Jason Verrett and DL Kentavius Street are both getting healthier and are candidates to come off of IR at some point this season, as Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area (citing head coach Kyle Shanahan) tweets. Both players have had difficult injury luck in their careers, so this is encouraging news, and San Francisco would surely love to have Verrett and Street as depth for the stretch run.
  • The news is not as good for 49ers rookie WR Jalen Hurd, as Shanahan says it’s unlikely Hurd will be ready to come off of IR this year (Twitter link via Maiocco).
  • The 49ers are also planning on being without DE Dee Ford for a couple of weeks, per Maiocco (via Twitter). Injuries have limited Ford during his first year in San Francisco, though he has managed to post 6.5 sacks. Ford is currently dealing with a hamstring injury.

Trent Taylor Not Expected To Return From IR

Trent Taylor no longer profiles as a player the 49ers plan to bring off IR. The third-year wide receiver underwent a second foot surgery, and Kyle Shanahan said (via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, on Twitter) he does not expect him to play this season.

The 49ers placed Taylor on IR in September, and he had surgery for a Jones fracture then. Shanahan said complications from it resulted in a Taylor return likely being tabled until 2020. Taylor has since undergone another procedure. An infection delayed Taylor’s rehab, per Maiocco.

Both Taylor and rookie Jalen Hurd reside on IR, and Shanahan views the latter as a possibility to return. While Taylor would have been able to come back for the 49ers’ Week 13 game, Hurd cannot return until Week 14. Hurd suffered a stress reaction in his back; the third-round rookie can return to practice next week.

San Francisco added Hurd and Deebo Samuel to its receiver mix this offseason and has seen trade acquisition Emmanuel Sanders produce immediately. Sanders is a free agent at season’s end. Taylor would stand to be back in the 49ers’ picture next season, with the former fifth-round pick having caught 69 passes for 645 yards from 2017-18.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers To Re-Sign Jordan Matthews

Jordan Matthews will head back to San Francisco. The recently released wide receiver will re-sign with the team and take Jalen Hurd‘s roster spot, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). The 49ers are placing Hurd on IR.

Hurd has been dealing with a back stress fracture, suffered in San Francisco’s first preseason game, and will now be out until at least December. He will join wideout Trent Taylor on the 49ers’ IR list. The 49ers used a third-round pick on Hurd this year, but he’s yet to debut.

Matthews signed with the 49ers early in the offseason but did not make the team. He participated in multiple workouts during the regular season’s audition circuit but did not sign anywhere.

The sixth-year wideout has not been able to re-establish his previously promising career track since being traded from Philadelphia to Buffalo in 2017 but stands to join former Bills teammate Marquise Goodwin, along with Dante Pettis and rookie Deebo Samuel, as notable 49ers receivers. A former second-round pick, Matthews is still just 27. He eclipsed 800 yards in a a season from 2014-16, doing so in both Chip Kelly and Doug Pederson‘s offenses.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Notes: McKinnon, Ward, Verrett, Hurd

Jerick McKinnon‘s 49ers tenure may very well end without him ever taking a snap for San Francisco. The team placed the running back on injured reserve last week, ending his 2019 season before it could start. McKinnon tore an ACL just before the start of last season, and has had complications while recovering. McKinnon had another knee surgery earlier this week, but it turns out it was unrelated to his ACL, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports. His ACL is apparently fine, which McKinnon said was “reassuring.”

Instead it was a separate issue in the same knee, although it’s not clear exactly what that issue is. He’ll miss his second straight season, but McKinnon still really wants to play for the 49ers. “I love this team,” he said. “That’s why I came here. I love the coaching staff, the whole organization, the Yorks, John (Lynch), Kyle (Shanahan), all the coaches. Coach (Bobby) Turner and everyone has been supportive — behind me, 100 percent, and there’s nothing more you can ask for.” McKinnon wants to be back, but it seems likely the team will want to move on. McKinnon, who signed a four-year $30MM deal last offseason, is scheduled to make $6.5MM in 2020. The 49ers still have a solid backfield with Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman and others, so he’d likely have to take a significant pay-cut at the very least to be brought back.

Here’s more from San Francisco:

  • Their defense is going to be banged up in Week 1. Defensive end Dee Ford has been dealing with a nagging injury but is going to play, while fellow pass-rusher Nick Bosa and cornerback Jason Verrett are both questionable. Now they’ll be without starting safety Jimmie Ward, who had surgery after breaking a finger in Wednesday’s practice, per Matt Barrows of The Athletic. Ward has been ruled out for the team’s opener against Tampa Bay, although Barrows notes that he might be able to play with a cast on in Week 2. Second-year player Tarvarius Moore will start in his place.
  • Speaking of Verrett, the oft-injured corner received a nice chunk of change for making the team’s initial 53-man roster. Verrett got a $500K bonus for being on the active roster Week 1, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Verrett, a first-round pick of the Chargers’ back in 2014, signed a one-year deal with San Francisco earlier this offseason. Verrett has always been extremely talented and made the Pro Bowl back in 2015, but he’s appeared in just five games over the past three seasons. Verrett has already dealt with a torn ACL and Achilles in his young career, and he missed the entire preseason with an ankle injury.
  • Ward isn’t the only player they’ll be without in Week 1. Rookie receiver Jalen Hurd isn’t going to play against the Bucs and he could miss multiple games, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. The 49ers drafted Hurt 67th overall back in April, and he has the potential to turn into an intriguing weapon. Hurd rushed for nearly 3,000 yards in his college career as a running back and then transitioned to receiver, racking up 946 yards through the air in his senior season at Baylor. It should be interesting too see how Kyle Shanahan uses him, but unfortunately it looks like we might have to wait a few weeks for his debut as he deals with a back injury.

49ers Sign Third-Round WR Jalen Hurd

The 49ers, who made the league’s first 2019 draft pick signing, got even more deals done to close out the week. The following players are officially in the fold:

Hurd, naturally, is the biggest name in the bunch. The wide receiver had an extended journey through the college ranks after spending three years with Tennessee as a running back before transferring to Baylor, where he moved to wide receiver. Hurd had to sit out the 2017 season, but he made up for lost time in 2018 with 69 catches for 946 yards and four touchdowns. He also got some work out of the backfield where he averaged 4.4 yards per carry and added another three TDs.

With those five plus punter Mitch Wishnowsky under contract, the Niners have only two to go – first-round pick Nick Bosa and second round wide receiver Deebo Samuel.